Bihar Human Rights Commission (BHRC) member Neelmani today shot off a letter to the Central government to bring suitable amendments to Protection of Human Rights Act (PHRA), 1993 to ensure that subjects relating to “State List” are exclusively dealt by the State Human Rights Commission.
In his letter to Union Home Secretary Rajiv Mehrishi, Neelmani also suggested the Centre to get the responses of other state governments on the issue of overlapping jurisdiction of NHRC & SHRCs especially matters that exculusively fall under the domain of state governments or “State List/List II” of Seventh Schedule to the Constitution.
“It is, therefore, suggested to kindly get the responses from the state governments on the issue and bring out suitable amendments to the PHRA (Protection of Human Rights Act) to ensure that subjects related to “State List” are exclusively dealt with by the SHRCs,” Neelmani said.
Referring to the section 13(6) of the Act that was added after the amendment in 2006, he said that the amendment stated that NHRC may transfer any complaint filed or pending before it (NHRC) to the State Commission of the State from which the complaint arises, for disposal in accordance with the provisions of this Act.
“It is left to the discretion of NHRC whether or not to transfer any case, under the category of “State List”, to SHRCs,” Neelmani said adding that this should not be the case as SHRCs have the same powers as NHRC in dealing with matters related to State List or the Concurrent List.
BHRC member wanted amendment to the extent that NHRC must transfer those matters which fall under the jurisdiction of the state government.
“Federal governance provides for state autonomy to exclusively deal with subjects coming under the category of “State List/List II” (as mentioned in the Constitution),” he said.